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1. NAME The name of the organisation shall be Digbeth Residents Association (DRA). 2. MISSION STATEMENT To develop and sustain an active community in Digbeth, democratically working towards ensuring the area is a good place to live. 3. OBJECTIVES 3.1. To be a resident-led organisation. 3.2. To foster a sense of community. 3.3. To safeguard and promote the interests of residents in the area. 3.4. To act as a voice for the residents of Digbeth. 3.5. To promote Digbeth to other areas and agencies. 3.6. To provide and promote social events. 3.7. To increase information and knowledge exchange about issues of relevance to residents in Digbeth. 3.8. To provide skills exchange opportunities related to Digbeth. 3.9. To provide a platform for community consideration and deliberation about issues in Digbeth. 3.10. To develop strategy and action leading towards improvements in living conditions and community facilities in Digbeth. 3.11. To promote active citizenship in Digbeth contributing towards a healthy local democracy. 3.12. To provide a platform for people/groups to engage with decision-making. 3.13. To actively promote community regeneration and cohesion in Digbeth. 3.14. To positively recognise, respect and support community diversity, encouraging the diverse membership to work together. 4. MEMBERSHIP 4.1. Full voting membership is open to all residents over 16 years of age, irrespective of tenure, living in the area between Fazeley Street and Cheapside, running from Camp Hill to the city centre. 4.2. Non-voting membership is open to all stakeholders working in the area who care about Digbeth. 5. MEETINGS 5.1. Open meetings will be held every two months focusing on deliberation. 5.2. Committee meetings will be held every two months, between open meetings, focusing on action. 6. THE COMMITTEE 6.1. A Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and serve for twelve months.
6.2. While only residents will have voting rights, the views of all stakeholders will be considered and taken into account when deciding on action at Committee meetings. 6.3. The Committee will consist of at least three members: a Chairperson, a Secretary and a Treasurer. 6.4. The Chairperson will have the deciding vote, but is not expected to vote unless such a deciding vote is needed. 6.5. If the Chairperson is not able to attend a meeting the members present will elect a substitute. 6.6. Should the Chairperson not attend two consecutive monthly meetings, the members attending those meetings will discuss the reasons given and consider replacing the Chairperson if the reasons are not seen as acceptable. 6.7. The Secretary will report to each meeting in person, arranging for another way to report should they be unable to attend a meeting. 6.8. Should the Secretary not attend two consecutive monthly meetings, the members attending those meetings will discuss the reasons given and consider replacing the Secretary if the reasons are not seen as acceptable. 6.9. The Treasurer will report to each meeting in person and arrange for another way to report should they be unable to attend a meeting. 6.10. Should the Treasurer not attend two consecutive monthly meetings, the members attending those meetings will discuss the reasons given and consider replacing the Treasurer if the reasons are not seen as acceptable. 6.11. Office bearer’s roles forming part of the Committee will be decided upon at the AGM. That Committee will be able to co-opt other members during the year subject to reporting to the next AGM for approval. 6.12. Office bearers will report to each Committee meeting. Should they be unable to attend a meeting they must delegate someone else to report on their behalf. 6.13. Should office bearers not attend more than two consecutive monthly meetings, they must explain the reasons why to the membership and be subject to consideration as to whether they should continue in that office. 6.14. No office bearer shall fill more than one position. 6.15. Each member may support more than one office bearer, forming specialist teams. 6.16. The Committee will make and carry out decisions in accordance with the mission statement and objectives of DRA. 6.17. Committee meetings will be open to any Digbeth stakeholder but in a nonvoting capacity. 6.18. Stakeholders can include city Councillors and other representatives of public agencies. 6.19. The Committee will report to bi-monthly open meetings in a manner that encourages debate and deliberation. 6.20. Committee members must declare any interest they have in a topic being discussed, and the membership must then decide whether that interest precludes them from any voting related to that topic. 6.21. Leases and legal documents related to the objectives of DRA can be entered into by the Committee only if agreed at a Committee meeting. 6.22. The Committee will develop an action plan related to mission and objectives on an on-going basis. 7. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICE BEARERS 7.1. Chairperson 7.1.1. Leads the managerial direction of the organisation. 7.1.2. Ensures the smooth running of meetings.
7.1.3. Acts as the Spokesperson for DRA, demonstrating a breadth and depth of relevant knowledge. 7.2. Secretary 7.2.1. Plans and prepares all meetings, including dates, rooms, refreshments, minutes, agendas and other papers. 7.2.2. Sends out all meeting/event notifications and publicity. 7.2.3. Records and minutes all meetings accurately, focusing on decisions and actions needed. 7.2.4. Ensures admin, meetings and voting procedures are run in line with the Constitution and any legal requirements. 7.2.5. Deals with correspondence (forwarding all decision-making items to the Chairperson). 7.2.6. Reports to the Committee on progress relating to correspondence, decisions and action points. 7.2.7. In partnership with Treasurer, monitors and administers petty cash and book keeping. 7.2.8. Maintains membership records. 7.3. Treasurer 7.3.1. Reports to the Committee about all financial matters in a manner all members can understand, allowing them to engage in decision making. 7.3.2. Keeps an overview of DRA finances, ensuring financial policies and practices are open and correct. 7.3.3. Has knowledge and experience of current finance practice relevant to community organisations. 7.3.4. Liaises with Committee members to ensure the financial viability of DRA. 7.3.5. Appraises the financial viability of all actions, ensuring accountability. 7.3.6. Liaises with auditors, ensuring DRA accounts are audited annually for the AGM. 7.3.7. Keeps clear records of all financial transactions, including quotations and receipts. 7.4. Other Officers 7.4.1. Planning Liaison Monitors all planning related activities in Digbeth, reporting back to the Committee offering suggestions for action. 7.4.2. Festival and Events Co-ordinator Co-ordinates positive links and partnership activity with local festivals and arts/cultural events, reporting back to the Committee. 7.4.3. Communications Officer Supports the Chairperson and Secretary in facilitating positive communication and publicity within and outside Digbeth about issues and activities relating to Digbeth and the Residents Association. 7.4.4. Neighbourhood and Pubwatch Officer
Attends meetings of Pubwatch and liaises with local Police, ensuring positive communication between these groups and agencies in Digbeth related to the work of Digbeth Residents Association. 8. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERSHIP All members undertake to actively govern DRA, directing and controlling activities through collective decision making. All members must act reasonably and honestly on behalf of DRA, according to the Constitution. Members collectively have overall responsibility for the organisation and therefore need to be actively involved in decision making about mission, development plan/strategy. The membership should also be kept informed about the day-to-day activities of the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer (and any other officers with delegated powers). The membership’s role also involves linking DRA to all residents and stakeholders in Digbeth, to safeguard the group’s assets, and to ensure positive participation in meetings and all other activities. No individual member has powers on their own unless specifically given them, and minuted, at a Committee meeting. Members should strive to attend all open meetings, coming prepared by reading relevant papers and other communications prior to each meeting (plus preparing reports when agreed beforehand). The members must agree to act collectively and prudently, not seeking personal gain. Members should: Arrive on time and stay until the end Listen, and not speak over, others, reflecting on what others say Contribute positively Avoid lecturing/making long speeches, seeking constructive dialogue instead Carry out agreed action Report back on any action to the next meeting Have a commitment to DRA and its mission Be willing to devote time to DRA Think independently Be willing to act collectively and accept collective decisions
9. FINANCES 9.1. DRA may raise funds through fundraising or grants. All money raised by or on behalf of DRA shall be applied to further its objectives. 9.2. All funds shall be kept in a bank account in the name of Digbeth Residents Association. 9.3. The Secretary, Treasurer and Chairperson will be signatories for the account and all expenditure will be subject to written approval by at least two of those three Committee members. 9.4. Receipts should be acquired and kept for all expenditure. 9.5. All expenditure will be agreed and controlled by the Committee. 9.6. No officer shall sign a blank cheque. 9.7. The group accounts will be audited and presented to the Annual General Meeting. 10. STANDING ORDERS (CONDUCT OF BUSINESS) 10.1. The Committee will decide on topics to be discussed at open meetings; agendas will be distributed to the membership at least 24 hours before a meeting.
10.2. Members can suggest and request items for the agenda by submitting these to the Secretary, and copying in the Chairperson. 10.3. Members can also raise any urgent business or issues of concern under Any Other Business (AOB) subject to the discretion of the Chairperson. 10.4. Priority will always be given to issues of general concern, rather than more specific, localised concerns. 10.5. Members may only speak through the Chairperson 10.6. Decisions will be agreed through a simple majority by a show of hands. A secret ballot can be used if requested and agreed upon through a vote. 10.7. Meetings will begin and end at the advertised time unless a vote is taken to extend the meeting. 10.8. Any offensive behaviour, including racist, ageist, sexist or inflammatory remarks will not be permitted and perpetrators will be asked to leave the meeting by the Chairperson. 10.9. Any member who brings the group into disrepute or refuses to comply with the Constitution shall be subject to a vote leading to expulsion. 10.10. Any expelled member has the right to appeal within 28 days of the expulsion. The appeal will be considered at a special meeting called for that purpose. 10.11. Minutes will be distributed within 14 days of a meeting where possible. 10.12. A quorum of five members will be applied to all meetings. 10.13. If the meeting is not quorate, then the meeting will continue as normal with any decisions being ratified at the next quorate meeting. 11. AGM 11.1. An AGM will be held every year to discuss the activities of DRA, receive the audited accounts and to elect a Committee. 11.2. At the AGM all Committee and Office Bearers will resign and a new Committee will be elected. 11.3. All stakeholders will be given at least 14 days’ notice of the AGM. 11.4. If the AGM is not quorate after 30 minutes, it will be abandoned and held again a week after the agreed date (if possible). If the rescheduled AGM is not quorate after 30 minutes, all those present at the AGM will constitute the quorum and are able to adopt a Constitution. 12. SPECIAL MEETINGS 12.1. Members shall be given at least 14 days’ notice of a special meeting. 12.2. The Committee will organise the content and conduct of special meetings. 13. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION 13.1. Members shall be given at least 14 days’ notice of any proposed changed to the Constitution, which can only be adopted at a Special Meeting called for this purpose. 13.2. Changes will be approved by a majority vote. 13.3. Changes must be justified in line with the objectives of the group. 13.4. Changes must be reported, opened for discussion, and agreed upon at the next AGM. 14. DISSOLUTION OF DRA 14.1. Digbeth Residents Association may only be dissolved at a special meeting called for that purpose.
14.2. Such a meeting shall come about following a proposal in writing signed by a simple majority of those remaining on the Committee submitted to the Secretary. The Secretary will then ensure a special meeting is arranged. 14.3. All members will be informed of such a meeting at least 21 days before the date of that meeting. 14.4. Dissolution of the group shall only take place if agreed by two-thirds of the voting members present. 14.5. Any assets of the group remaining after meeting liabilities must be distributed among local charities or other community-based groups nominated and agreed on through a vote at that meeting. 14.6. Any money received via funding bodies should be returned to the funders as outlined in funding criteria. 14.7. On dissolution, any documents belonging to DRA shall be disposed of in a manner agreed by that meeting. 15. SIGNATURES This constitution was adopted at an AGM of the Digbeth Residents Association on 13th February 2012.
Signed Chairperson: Secretary: Treasurer: .......................................................... .......................................................... ..........................................................
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